Grandma and grands having fun on Choatie the turtle at Choate Park, Medway
Each time I spend time with my grands, I am struck at some time by how differently I am able to interact with them, contrasted with the time I spent with my own grandparents. Bonds with my own grandmothers were strong, yet one worked full time almost her entire life, leaving us happily ensconced at her beach house retreat while the other cared for her increasingly frail mother, and thus was never very free to spend much time with us.
Each generation and each family has different life situations–there are no “right” ways to be a grandparent. Continue reading
On the trail at Birchwold Farm, Wrentham
Maybe it’s just me, but I have a terrible time asking for help. I’m much happier being the one who is helpful, has the right answers, knows just the right place to go to obtain whatever help you might need. Yes, it’s a learned trait, and one I came by naturally. My mom was the one people often turned to. They knew that if she didn’t know the answer, she would be able to suggest who could help. She called it, “Kuhl’s consultant service,” always said with a smile. (“Kuhl” was our last name.)
I worked very hard to avoid being the one who needed to ask for help until life events took over and there was little choice. Finding myself a single parent, boy, did I need help! Later, because of illness, I needed even more help. Thankfully, my life is much more stable these days, but there is still a lot I need help with. I was reminded of this today, as we set out for Birchwold Farm in Wrentham with our snowshoes, to enjoy the recent snowfall. Continue reading
My dad and I
Do you know when you’re going to die? Well, I don’t know the answer to that, for you, for others, for myself. But since I’m a storyteller from way back, here’s a story:
You know, my dad was lucky. Three months before he died, Dad sat in his living room watching four of his teen grandchildren gathered on the floor around him, reading chapters of his soon-to-be-published memoir. He and I had spent a number of weekends together over the previous several years, working together to help document his life lessons and experiences. I clarified details of stories that didn’t quite hold together, drawing out more information. The more he shared, the more he remembered other events. Continue reading
Liz (on the right) getting the troops organized
I met Liz Myska along a trail as we joined others who had ventured out to help with a trail cleanup. For those who have never participated in these events, they are very social. Yes, we’re making the trail cleaner, but if you’re not careful, you may make friends who could change your life! Liz is one of those type of friends Continue reading
Prisms fill my window and kitchen with color and light
An unexpected Christmas gift years ago from my dear cousin became the start of a small collection I’ve added to over the years. When I received this first gift I had no idea the joy it would give. A simple glass prism, it was at one time, I believe, part of a crystal chandelier. Continue reading
Here’s a fun conversation I had recently with Liz Myska of Worcester, who invited me to appear on her “Connecting the Dots” community cable show. We talked about personal histories, and our love of the outdoors. Liz is visually impaired and advocates for the elderly and disabled in her capacity as a lawyer. She is also a great friend.
This year’s tiny tree
I’ve seen attempts at creating traditions. These are often well-meant efforts, often by parents, to do something memorable with their children that will carry on to others in years to come. In my own experience, these efforts often fall flat. It is the simplest things, often not intentional, that seem to take on a life of their own. Continue reading
Pumpkin pie in the making at Grandma’s house
Pie-making was on the agenda for today, as was putting together the cranberry relish. My grand girl Nicole was available and willing, so I grabbed her from the bus and brought her straight over to my kitchen for us to get right to work together. Continue reading
Heading off to the fields at Oak Grove Farm
On perhaps one of our last remaining warm fall days, I set out from Oak Grove Farm in Millis. The walk was part of the “Easy Walks” presentation I’d provided for the Millis Public Library. We’d combined the slide presentation with a walk afterwards in hopes people would be tempted to come learn about the area and join us in the outdoors as well.
The audience was small at the library, and three people joined us at Oak Grove Farm, but two quickly set off by themselves, leaving only one person to walk with me. But another friend I’d invited showed up at the parking area and suddenly the tone of our walk changed substantially. Continue reading
Nancy Haines holds the proof copy of “We Answered with Love” Pacifist Service in World War I, the letters of Leslie Hotsen and Mary Peabody
I met Nancy at a local women’s networking event for a group she helped found but is no longer involved with. She mentioned that she had a book project, a collection of letters written during WWI, correspondence between a man, and the woman who eventually became his wife. The man traveled to France during the war, not as a soldier, but as a conscientious objector, and served with the Quakers in France. With the Quakers, he worked to rebuild housing, even as the war continued to rage elsewhere in France. Continue reading